This morning I was greeted in the kitchen by the Mt. Everest of dishes, looming precipitously above me and sucking up all the oxygen with their stench. Didn’t I JUST do these? I wondered. Hasn’t there been enough kitchen cleaning for one week? Does it never end? I know I’m not the first stay-at-homie to ponder these philosophical quandaries. With my easy solution, perhaps I’ll be the last.
For those of you interested in my ground-breaking solution, here it is: stop eating. No food means no dishes. I know I can certainly survive until the Fourth of July off of my stomach fat alone, not even needing to use up the fat stores from other parts until much later. Z can survive off the handouts she gets at playdates. Seriously, the kid walks into a stranger’s house and starts begging. I try to convince the other moms that she does eat at home, but they don’t believe me. So I may as well stop feeding her and make the rounds to the other toddlers’ houses. And Husband? He barely eats anyway, somehow getting through an entire day on three cookies. In fact, he doesn’t even have to eat those cookies. He takes them to work, then brings them home; he magically absorbs whatever calories he needs just from carrying them. I magically absorb whatever calories I don’t need just by looking at air.
But this isn’t an article intended to poke fun at my weight, as easy as that is right now. I’m mystified by the kitchen, and the dishes inside it, and how they seem to dirty themselves through the very virtue of being dishes. Perhaps I don’t get it because I don’t cook. So when I see the dishes it’s magical in an Oh-No-Voldemort-Just-Apparated-In-My-Kitchen sort of way.
When I do finally tackle the mess, usually in the morning (I mean really, who wants to waste Z’s precious bedtime hours cleaning?), I vow to never again let it get this bad. “Never,” I say, scrubbing a chunk of enchilada off the rim of a plate. All good intentions are lost as soon as Z looks “thoughtful” and needs a new diaper. My child protects me from doing too much work because after the diaper change she wants a story. And in the face of all those dishes, reading Rosemary Wells’s Bunny Planet trilogy forty-six times sounds like nirvana.